Funded by Christopher Welch Scholarship, Oxford
Supervised by Owen Lewis and Kathy Willis
My research focuses on assessing the effectiveness of EU agri-environment schemes in promoting ecosystem functioning and service delivery within agricultural landscapes; with focus on pollination by wild solitary bees. I have set up a network of 20 farms around Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire and the Cotswolds, representing a range of different agricultural management options; from very intensively farmed with high pesticide input to organic farms showcasing Higher Level Stewardship, with multiple interventions to benefit wildlife. On each farm solitary bee populations are monitored using trap nests. The female bees lay eggs inside the nests and I measure their species diversity, population sizes and extract pollen from the nests to construct pollination networks for each bee species. Bee species diversity, population size and the structure of their pollination networks are then compared across farms to investigate the influence of the different agricultural management practices on the bees and their provision of pollination services.